Clinical trials are always an option at any point along your journey as a cancer patient, and in some cases are also available for cancer prevention as well. When you are considering a trial immediately after diagnosis it is premature to try something that is early in the trials process (i.e. Phase 1 or 2). It makes more sense to participate in a Phase 3 trial which is investigating today’s gold standard against something that may very well be better. There are no placebos here and you are AT LEAST getting today’s gold standard. After a recurrence it is also reasonable to participate in trials and in fact this is when most people consider this option. Here a Phase 1 or 2 trial makes more sense as the standard approach has already proven to have failed in the case of a recurrence. The main issue to consider at this point is toxicity. Are you willing to potentially take a substance that has greater toxicity than the other treatments available? If yes, then Phase 1 is the cutting edge. If not, then Phase 2, in which the toxicities are already better defined, may be the better choice. The site link noted below has a lot more information about whether or not you should consider a clinical trial.
How to find clinical trials : Clinical Trials Site Here you can get a good idea of what types of trials are available for your tumor type and situation. So, for example you can search for “ovarian cancer” + “recurrent”. Or you might be searching for “endometrial cancer” “stage 3”. Ask me for what the best combination of searches might be or review the handy “how to” section on the ClinicalTrials.gov site (link above). This is pure gold to find the cutting edge options out there. You can even search by geographic area.
Complementary and “Alternative” trials are also out there. These can be found in the NCI link above, but this drills down on the current alternative medicine trials available. Keep in mind that “alternative” sometimes connotes a woo-woo or voodoo air to some, and to others it means empowerment to participate in something that is “natural”. In any case, these are funded clinical trials in the area of complementary and alternative medicine : Alternative and Complementary Medicine Cancer Trials
Here is an overview about why research is CRITICALLY important to our finding the cure for cancer. Prevention is the ideal goal and is the mainstay of integrative medicine, but once the disease is upon you what is the best combination of therapies. The best TODAY is not good enough! So, participation in clinical trials is the formula for our success.
The Role of Research in Cancer Treatment
This videos covers the basic reasons research is important in discovering the ultimate cure for cancer.